With a new album in the chamber ready to fire, it’s time to witness the latest incarnation of Dave Mustaine’s life long project, but first we have the pleasure of welcoming Sylosis to the vast stage in to a healthy sized capacity for the ungodly hour that’s in it!
The curse of the first night of the tour struck Sylosis hard. They arrived out on stage to a sizeable audience for such an early start to the gig, but the sound coming from the speakers was muddy, completely uneven and in bad need of a skilled engineer to quickly make them sound like the tight, unrelentingly ferocious live band that they are. By the time they kicked into Teras the sound problems are ironed out and the full force of the Reading four piece came into effect. They seem to have lost none of their potency, with the bands addition of Bleed From Within drummer, Ali Richardson late last year. With a set list crafted from their four efforts including recent release Dormant Heart, it’s difficult not to find fault with the performance Sylosis are giving.
New song Servitude, erupts and it’s hard to remember that this band plays in standard tuning. Endless metalcore and modern metal bands have resorted to down tuning, putting bass strings on guitars and using 8 strings to achieve what Sylosis can do with a standard tuned guitar and a shit load of skill.
The band move from fast to slow to everything in between, with a beautifully picked collection of songs to open the show tonight. Soon its time to hear set closer and a staple at this point, Empyreal. The command Josh Middleton has over a guitar is astounding and plainly clear in this song. His transition from sweep picking, to arm paralyzing rhythms, is nothing short of a master class. The big stage of the 3 Arena didn’t phase Sylosis one bit. They embraced it, and Dublin embraced them. I Googled empyreal whilst writing this review. It’s meaning could not be better suited to this band.
Sublime. Sylosis are empyreal. (4.5/5)
Next to grace the stage are Children of Bodom, who waste no time in filling their 30 min’s with everything they have! Unfortunately, what they have just doesn’t seem to connect with tonight’s punters. Opening with In Your Face, the commands of Alexi Lahio for the crowd to “get the fuck up”, are lost among the chatter and curiosity about what treasures the merchandise stands contain. Battling with same sound issues Sylosis experienced at the start of their set, COB push on with Morrigan, Angles Don’t Kill and I Worship Chaos, which slowly begin to win over a small part of the now busy arena.
The bands last few ventures to Ireland have sunk like a lead balloon, with low attendance and general lack of interest, however it would seem that the band like a good challenge and as they finish up with Hate Me! and Downfall, the applause has come a long way from a polite acknowledgement to a more respectful ‘good effort’ reaction. Children of Bodom, you either like them or hate them or in this case don’ really care either way! (2/5)
With scores of ticket holders flowing through the doors of the 3 Arena, the atmosphere changes dramatically as the excitement level can now be picked up around the venue. Lamb of God take to the stage with a fucking ferocious sound that levels the front row in a matter of seconds! Opening with Walk With Me In Hell, does what it says on the tin and for the first time tonight, has the security on their toes! Sounding tight and sharp, Lamb of God smash through a breath-taking set-list that includes Now You’ve Got Something to Die For with new tracks Still Echoes and the blistering 512, which draws from the bands recently released VII: Sturm und Drang.
The new material is going down smother as the overpriced beer as punters lap up every second of the bands set. A brief mid-song statement from Randy, informs us of the much publicised attack the previous night in Dublin’s Docklands area, where a group of mutant teenagers struck him over the head with a blunt object with the intention to rob him. As he apologies in advance at the prospect of possibly fainting on stage, as a result of the injury, the 3 Arena applaud and chant in support of Randy unfortunate experience.
Considering the unfortunate incident that took place with Randy and some Dublin street rats, Lamb of God are on fire tonight! Ghost Walking, Ruin, Hourglass and Set To Fail tear the venue a new one and it doesn’t stop there! Accompanied by a montage of background images on huge LED screens, depicting an array of chaotic scenes from hellish fires and military warfare. With the audience in the palm of his hands, Randy throws himself around the huge stage and reduces the size of the 3 Arena to that of a club, with constant commands and overwhelming passion. Finishing up with the stone cold classic’s that are Red Neck and Black Label, Lamb of God, lay waste to the venue and bid their farewell to rapturous applause and chants for more! Job done! (4.5/5)
Moving on to the big attraction for the evening, Megadeth take to the stage with Hanger 18 and from the get go, sound immense! All eyes are on new guitarist Kiko Loureiro, who proves any critics wrong, by the time the solo kicks in! Lamb of God’s Chris Adler, is handling the ‘double duty’ with ease, as he majestically hammers out flawless machine gun beats, behind the double-bass kit!
Dave Mustaine, stalks the stage like the pro that he is and with very little stage banter (as per usual) he lets the music do the talking. Classics such as Wake Up Dead, In My Darkest Hour and Sweating Bullets, launches with precision and pin-point accuracy, with intention of causing mass movement in the pit!
Considering that this is the first night of this short run of European dates and the first with Chris Adler performing for Lamb of God and Megadeth, the presence on stage is flowing better than I had expected! Dave Ellefson’s galloping bass floats on top of Adler’s drumming perfectly and with Ellefson at times planted in front of the drum kit, the stage truly belongs to Mustaine and Loureiro, who rip out solos that are as classic as the songs themselves with Tornado of Souls, being a particular highlight.
New track Fatal Illusion, taken from the forthcoming Dystopia album, goes down spectacularly well and promises a more aggressive Megadeth from the So, Far, So Good, era. A brief introduction to Thin Lizzy’s, Cold Sweat, see’s the venue break out in a flurry of sweaty bodies and mass sing along, before we graced with a razor-sharp rendition of Skin o’ My Teeth.
Having seen Megadeth many, many times over the last twenty-five odd years, tonight’s performance reflects an energy that has lacked over the last decade or so. Regardless of what you may think of Dave Mustaine and Megadeth as a band, there is no doubting that they are one hell of a force tonight and as they finish up with an encore that comprises of Peace Sells, But Who’s Buying and the classic anthem that is Holy Wars…, no one can argue with them!
A return to form, with a line up that has managed to capture ‘lightening in a bottle’. Get ready for Megadeth to start bothering the high-end of the charts with the release of Dystopia, because with an album that packs the punch of a more 90’s sounding Megadeth and a live show that literally, takes no prisoners there is nothing stopping them experiencing a level of success to which they have never experience before! (5/5)
MEGADETH SET-LIST, DUBLIN NOV 9TH 2015
3. Wake UP Dead
4. In My Darkest Hour
5. Sweating Bullets
6. Dawn Patrol
7. Poison Was The Cure
8. Tornado of Souls
9. Fatal Illusion
11. Cold Sweat (Thin Lizzy cover)
12. Skin o’ My Teeth
13. Symphony of Destruction
14. Peace Sells…
15. Holy Wars..
Sylosis – DSK
Children Of Bodom / Lamb Of God / Megadeth – Oran O’Beirne
All photography by Down The Barrel Photography with permission from MCD © 2015
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